WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said his administration would not grant Apple Inc any relief for tariffs on Chinese-made parts for its Mac Pro computer.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in welcome ceremony for Defense Secretary Mark Esper at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., July 25, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
“Apple will not be given Tariff waiver, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China. Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!” Trump tweeted.
Representatives for Apple had no immediate comment. Shares of the company sharply pared their gains after Trump’s tweets.
On July 18, Apple asked the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office to waive 25% tariffs on 15 parts, including ones for Mac Pro desktop computer. The public comment period for those requests closes on Aug. 1.
The parts include graphics processing modules, structural frames, power supply units, AC power cables, ladder assemblies, data cables and a wireless mouse line.
The Wall Street Journal reported in June that Apple is shifting manufacturing of its new Mac Pro desktop computer to China from Texas. Apple CEO Tim Cook in December 2013 announced the company was building the Mac Pro in Texas after coming under criticism for assembling most of its products in lower-wage countries.
Apple noted after the report of the manufacturing shift that “like all of our products, the new Mac Pro is designed and engineered in California and includes components from several countries including the United States” and emphasized that “final assembly is only one part of the manufacturing process.”
Apple said in its submissions to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office that the products were a component of a consumer electronic device and “not strategically important or related to Chinese industrial programs, such as “Made in China 2020.”
Apple in June asked its major suppliers to assess the cost implications of moving 15% to 30% of its production capacity from China to Southeast Asia, according to a Nikkei report.
China is a key market for Apple as well as a major production center for its devices. The company got nearly 18% of its total revenue from Greater China in the quarter that ended in March.
The Trump administration has denied numerous other tariff exclusion requests from major companies including General Motors Co (GM.N) for its Chinese-made Buick Envision, Tesla Inc for components for its electric vehicles and Uber Technologies Inc for electric bikes.
Reporting by Susan Heavey and David Shepardson; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Trott